Boeing 787 Dreamliner safe, U.S. FAA review finds

The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration said on Wednesday a review of the Boeing 787 Dreamliner found the plane was "soundly designed" and met its "safety level."

Air Canada begins Dreamliner flights this spring

The Boeing 787 Dreamliner, which was grounded for more than three months last year after batteries overheated, is soundly designed and safe to fly, a joint review by the planemaker and the Federal Aviation Administration said on Wednesday.

The review, which was initiated by the FAA after a battery fire aboard a 787 in Boston in January 2013, encompassed the entire plane, not specifically the battery issue.

It made seven recommendations for further improvements in Boeing processes and the agency's oversight, FAA Administrator Michael Huerta said in a telephone news briefing.

The Boston fire and another battery incident in Japan several days later prompted regulators to ground the plane for 3-1/2 months last year. The plane has also suffered a series of mishaps with brakes, fuel lines, electrical panels, hydraulics, and other systems.

Boeing redesigned the battery, charger and containment system to ensure battery fires would not put the plane at risk, and the Dreamliner was returned to service. The cause of the battery problems has not been determined and is the subject of a National Transportation Safety Board investigation.

A battery aboard a Japan Airlines Dreamliner emitted white smoke and showed signs of melting in an incident two months ago at a Tokyo airport.

Air Canada is set to take delivery of the first 15 of its Dreamliners this spring, and says it will receive all 37 of its planes by 2019. The planes will fly select routes in Canada and Europe, before the launch of a dedicated route between Toronto and Tokyo, as well as Toronto and Tel Aviv.

The Dreamliner, launched in 2004, is built with carbon-fiber composite materials and a powerful electrical system to reduce weight and improve fuel efficiency.

with files from CBC News